How can my child benefit from group therapy?

 

What is group therapy?

 

 

 

In group therapy, your child will be involved in sessions with other children and with one or more clinicians. There are a different types of groups including, support groups, social skills training groups or psycho-education groups, each with a different outcome and purpose. Groups for young children are often centred around play-based activities to allow children to have fun and to enjoy the experience. Group therapy can be instrumental in teaching children how to problem solve, cope with change and learn new behaviours in a non-threatening and supportive environment. Groups usually last for a series of sessions and it is important for your child to attend the full series of sessions to obtain the maximum benefit.

 

Benefits of Group Therapy:

Feeling normal

Groups help your child to realise there are others around them with similar or the same issues. This can be very powerful in normalising what they are feeling, feeling like they have others that understand them and also providing a non-threatening space in which to work on their challenges.

Sharing

Children who attend groups are encouraged to share their experiences and feelings and are directed to do this in an appropriate and supported way. The groups are non-judgemental, confidential and directed by the clinician, providing your child with a safe space to share. By learning appropriate modes of communication and boundaries, this can assist in your child developing important skills.

Forming Relationships and developing social skills

Your child will be supported in developing relationships with other children in the group, which will allow them to experience supportive relationships that they may not have outside the group. The group will assist in teaching your child the subtleties of social interactions, not only from the activities they complete, but also the modelling of behaviours of the other group members and the lead clinician. Your child will also receive useful feedback in the group (often from the other members) and this is able to be followed on with learning experiences in a supportive and constructive manner.

Improved self-esteem

Groups provide the structure for your child to be more likely to implement the new skills they have learnt. They feel increasingly comfortable and in turn try out new things. Your child will also offer (and be made aware of) through the group of their key skills and what they have to offer, leading to a valuable increase in their confidence and self-esteem and building on their sense of self.

 

Groups can be beneficial on their own, however are even more effective when combined with individual therapy, however it is important to know that group therapy does not replace individual therapy. Group therapy can support your child in their growth and development and can assist them to learn and develop new ways of coping. Here at The Psych Professionals, we run small groups of 3-6 children, giving your child the best chance to obtain the benefits of the group environment, while continuing to get the direct care they need.

The Psych Professionals have their PALS Social Skills Training Group for ages 4-7 commencing at our Loganholme office on 10th May 2018. To get more information or to express an interest in any of these groups, please call The Psych Professionals on 07 3801 1772 (Loganholme) or 07 3823 2230 (Capalaba) or click on our above link.